TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Today the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released the 2012 school- and board-level results from its primary- and junior-division Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, written in Grades 3 and 6, and its Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. New this year, EQAO is publishing a report for each school showing how its students progressed from one provincial assessment to the next. For elementary schools, the report shows the progress students made in reading, writing and mathematics from when they were in Grade 3 in 2009 to Grade 6 in 2012. For secondary schools, the report shows how students progressed in mathematics from when they were in Grade 6 in 2009 to Grade 9 in 2012. These new reports supplement the full reports on student achievement EQAO publishes for each publicly funded school every year.
The new reports, titled "School-Level Cohort Tracking Pie Charts (Four Achievement Pathways)," describe the four possible pathways students at each school can follow from one provincial test to the next:
- Maintained the standard (met the provincial standard in 2009 and 2012),
- Rose to the standard (did not meet the standard in 2009 but did in 2012),
- Dropped from the standard (met the standard in 2009 but did not in 2012)
- Never met the standard (did not meet the standard in 2009 and also did not in 2012)
Last month, EQAO reported that over the past five years, there has been an increase across the province in the proportion of students who improved to meet the provincial standard in Grade 6 after not having met it in Grade 3. The same kind of progress has not, however, been seen in mathematics, where the proportion of students improving to meet the standard in Grade 6 has actually decreased.
This year's assessment results, when viewed at the provincial level, show steady improvement in literacy, though not in elementary mathematics. Given the very different rates of success among school communities across the province though, a local examination of results is merited.
"By providing detailed information on the achievement of every student in a publicly funded school, EQAO results not only help create strong, local accountability for student success, but also encourage dialogue between teachers and parents," said Marguerite Jackson, EQAO's Chief Executive Officer. "Reports such as EQAO's encourage school communities to have meaningful discussions about achievement, and they compel action to improve the outcomes of all of their students."
Today, EQAO also published two comprehensive provincial reports of the 2012 assessment results: an elementary school report for the primary- and junior-division assessments and a secondary school report for the Grade 9 mathematics assessment and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. The provincial reports provide contextual data, summaries of findings, strategies for success and profiles of successful schools.
School reports, including the new "School-Level Cohort Tracking Pie Charts (Tracking Student Achievement)" can be viewed on EQAO's Web site by entering the school's name, address or postal code in the search field under "EQAO School and School Board Profiles and Reports."
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EQAO's tests measure student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in relation to Ontario Curriculum expectations. The resulting data provide accountability and a gauge of quality in Ontario's publicly funded education system. By providing this important evidence about learning, EQAO acts as a catalyst for increasing the success of Ontario students.
The objective and reliable results from EQAO's tests complement the information obtained from classroom and other assessments to provide students, parents, teachers and administrators with a clear and comprehensive picture of student achievement and a basis for targeted improvement planning at the individual, school, school board and provincial levels. EQAO helps build capacity for the appropriate use of data by providing resources that educators, parents, policy-makers and others in the education community can use to improve teaching and learning. EQAO distributes an individual report to each student who writes a test, and posts school, school board and provincial results on its Web site.
In the 2011-2012 school year, there were
- 126 455 Grade 3 students in 3358 schools;
- 129 477 Grade 6 students in 3186 schools;
- 97 741 Grade 9 students in academic mathematics in 691 schools and
- 41 799 Grade 9 students in applied mathematics in 718 schools.
The Provincial Standard
The four levels of achievement that EQAO uses to report student results are aligned with the four levels of achievement used by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education has established Level 3 as the provincial standard. Level 3 represents a range from B- to B+ for students in elementary school and a range from 70% to 79% for students in secondary school.
Meeting the standard means a student has a solid grasp of the required knowledge and skills, which is a good indication that he or she will be ready for work in the next grade. The standard is rigorously maintained from year to year, and EQAO assessments are developed and scored in a way that ensures the results can be compared appropriately from one year to the next.
Testing the Curriculum
The provincial tests given at the end of the primary division (Grade 3) and the junior division (Grade 6) assess students relative to the expectations in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Language (revised 2006) and The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Mathematics (revised 2005), which outline the knowledge and skills students should have acquired by the corresponding stages of their schooling.
EQAO assessments measure how well students have met the provincial curriculum expectations. For example, Grade 3 and Grade 6 students are assessed in
- reading—using a variety of reading strategies and conventions, understanding concepts, making inferences and connecting ideas;
- writing—using writing strategies and language conventions, understanding assigned tasks, organizing ideas and communicating with the reader and
- mathematics—demonstrating knowledge and skills in the five strands of mathematics: number sense and numeration, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, patterning and algebra, and data management and probability.
The Grade 9 mathematics test is based on the expectations for student knowledge and performance up to the end of Grade 9 in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 and 10: Mathematics (revised 2005). The purpose of the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics is to assess the level at which students in the applied and academic mathematics courses are meeting Grade 9 curriculum expectations. Students enrolled in Grade 9 academic and applied mathematics must demonstrate knowledge and skills in the same three areas—number sense and algebra, linear relations, measurement and geometry—and for the academic course, they must also do so in analytic geometry.
Available on EQAO's Web site are samples from the Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Primary Division (Grades 1-3) and Junior Division (Grades 4-6), the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
SOURCE: Education Quality and Accountability Office
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